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AxCell, Mount Sinai to Study Protein Pathways of Neurodegenerative Disorders

NEW YORK, Nov. 15 — AxCell Biosciences announced on Thursday that it had formed a research collaboration with the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York to study proteins related to neurodegenerative diseases like muscular dystrophy and Alzheimer's.


Specifically, the partners will look at the binding of ligands in the WW protein domain family to gain insight into the mechanisms of the conditions with an eye toward potential new-drug development.


Under the terms of the joint effort, which will be led by Mount Sinai's Marius Sudol, an expert on the WW protein domain, AxCell will provide access to its database, which the company says includes the only complete map of the WW protein domain family.


According to AxCell, the family comprises dystrophin, utrophin, beta-dystroglycan, FE65 and FE65-like proteins. The domain is involved in signal transduction and is believed to be crucial to a metabolic pathway shared by a range of diverse proteins, AxCell said.


Financial details of the collaboration were not disclosed.


AxCell's database, launched in spring 2001, is a wide-ranging map of protein interactions in human cell signaling and includes pathway information from a set of signal transduction domain families.


The company, a subsidiary of Princeton, NJ-based Cytogen Corporation, focuses on mapping protein signaling pathways.

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